We have all heard about those stories where someone from a large software company calls you telling you that they are from M*******t Security and they have detected something wrong with your computer. The tell tale signs are that the call comes from an unlisted number, is at odd hours (in my case Saturday afternoon) and the caller has a thick Indian accent. Well I got one of those calls today and (this time) I had a game plan.
For those of you who do not know about these scammers (or as I like to call them scum) they try to get you to believe that you have something wrong with your computer and will then charge you an exorbitant amounts of money to do nothing. Worse still they will riddle your computer with Malware that will make your computer susceptible to other attacks. Hence the term scum is the least you can call them.
So what did I do, well after the hello I’m from xyz security I took a deep breath and politely told them that they had 10 seconds to hang up before I called the police. This rattled the person on the end of the line and he kept to his script, I then said something like I know that you are trying to scam me and if you do not hang up I have your number and name and I will be calling the police. I then called out to my wife to get me the cell phone, this caused him to start swearing and saying things like “oh my God”, f*****h h**l, etc. If this was a legitimate call the caller would never resort to that language.
Then he starting asking me who I was, this is where I just said that I was some awesome programmer and I knew what he was doing trying to get exhort money out me and other good people. My wife had a better suggestion later, she said that I should have told him that I worked for xyz company and I knew that we don’t have a security department. Anyway, I then told him that since I had his information I was going to report him to the FBI as well, he replied with f**k your FBI, charming.
Eventually after much cursing and dismay on his part I told him that I had had enough and I had things to do anyway so I hung up.
The moral of the story is that this is a scam, companies cannot detect anything on your computer without you doing something to give them access. They will trick honest hard-working people into thinking that they have something wrong with their computer and charge you an arm and a leg to fix it. Either hang up immediately or threaten them with the police, lie and tell them that you have their name and number, why not, they are lying to you.
Never do anything they ask you to do, especially going to a web site and downloading any sort of software, don’t even go anywhere near your computer!